Perthshire Advertiser

Measures to stop antisocial yobs


Measures are being put in place to clamp down on anti-social behaviour at Clunie Loch.

The move comes after around 30 people attended an online meeting facilitate­d by Clunie Hall Associatio­n.

The meeting was called following an incident which saw a 57-year-old man require hospital treatment after an alleged serious assault in the early hours of May 31.

Residents said at the time they felt “under siege” as hundreds of visitors descended on the beauty spot near Blairgowri­e.

Since the incident, and similar concerns raised in other parts of Highland Perthshire, Police Scotland has increased patrols at a number of locations in a bid to clamp down on a spike in anti-social behaviour.

As well as the increase in police patrols, new signs are due to be installed at the loch, highlighti­ng responsibl­e access, and restrictio­ns on roadside parking are to be introduced “imminently”.

Local resident Rick Rayburn told our sister title the Blairgowri­e Advertiser: “We’ve got a meeting with Roddy Ross from the Safer Communitie­s team this week and we’ll walk round the loch and look at where the new signs could go up.

“We’ll then discuss the wording for the signs and we are hopeful that they could go up fairly soon.

“The roads department at Perth and Kinross Council is looking at introducin­g clearways to stop people parking on the road, particular­ly on the A923 and my understand­ing is that is due to be introduced imminently.”

He added: “Since that weekend there has been an increased police presence in the area and they have been talking to people and taking licence plate details.

“There have still been lots of people camping overnight and lighting fires but it’s not been anywhere as near busy as it was.

“Hopefully now the five-mile travel restrictio­n has been lifted, people will go elsewhere and stop bringing their jet skis and motorboats here.”

Strathtay councillor and local resident Grant Laing said: “Once these measures are put in place, there are other options that could be taken forward if the community wants such as introducin­g a ban on drinking around the loch.

“However, all the agencies and the local community are working together and although this has been going on for years I am quite confident we can get something done now.”

Blairgowri­e and the Glens ward councillor Tom McEwan also lives nearby in Wester Essendy.

He said: “It has been evident from our early discussion­s with council officers and the police that the loch is not unique in relation to the problems created by a few roadside campers.

“As part of the local community living next to the Loch of Clunie, I see the benefits of a multi-agency, considered approach, involving the community at every stage.

“We do not want to stop use of this wonderful asset but want to ensure that all users act with the utmost responsibi­lity for the environmen­t of the loch and the local community.

“Our interactio­ns and discussion­s have been very encouragin­g in these initial stages - locally organised litter picks, new signage, regular patrols by police, countrysid­e rangers and the community wardens team.

“Access to the fly-tipping fund from PKC will be available for landowners to help clear some of the mess left behind by the few.

“The introducti­on of a temporary clearways traffic order, under COVID-19 regulation­s, will help ease the immediate issues allowing time for reflection and interactio­n with users and the local community living around the loch.

“It is important that we take calm, responsibl­e decisions on the long-term actions and changes that will be needed to protect the loch’s environmen­t and keep our area as tranquil and beautiful as it has always been, while allowing locals and visitors alike to enjoy its many assets.

“I am sure through this process we will have a stronger, more cohesive community, and a situation where everyone will be able to enjoy the loch in its clean, natural state for many generation­s to come.”

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